When self-determination and representation come to mind, Language seemingly plays a huge role. It is a tricky piece as well, since so much of the academic content out there is in English. However, it is fundamental to establishing a real representation of the community. Haiti is making shifts to teach nationally in Kreyol versus their colonial adopted language, French.
A Creole Solution for Haiti’s Woes
It does not sound like the content and pedagogy used in Haiti represent the place well, but moving towards adopting their native language is a huge shift.
As an aside… Language is a tricky thing. Despite Kevin Costner’s best efforts to create Dances with Wolves using predominantly Sioux, they lost authenticity by using a single language for male and females… whereas the Sioux have two forms of speaking that are gender dependent.
As the Green Studies teacher, I notice that we pull from all walks of life. A gardener is a very pragmatic knowledge seeker, not prescribing to any school of thought, rather doing whatever works best. That said, it is great to find Indigenous knowledge being co-opted into Scientific understanding, as found in this paper.
A framework for incorporating indigenous knowledge systems into agricultural research and extension organizations for sustainable agricultural development in India
This was a neat find, as it does not pertain specifically to Indigenous groups, but can apply to them very well. It seems like a generalized version of many of the curricula we looked at in the course, and emphasizes the need for everybody to have a bit of self-determination when it comes to education.
RSA – Area Based Curriculum
I came across this organization as I was looking for groups who bring together indigenous groups to collectivize their thoughts on issues like sustainability or climate change Tebtebba seems to do this well with a board audience and strong links to the bureaucratic machinery that works it. Here is part of their mission statement:
Tebtebba seeks to promote and disseminate widely indigenous peoples worldviews, their perspectives on key issues such as individual and collective human rights, sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, traditional knowledge, customary laws and governance, conflict transformation, gender, etc.
And of course… a link to their site:
When I was doing research for my paper, I noticed that there were a couple sites dedicated towards acquiring knowledge from indigenous groups for the purpose of mitigating and managing climate change. These take the form of forums in one case, where groups can post experiences (or are done so through a proxy).
Climate Frontlines – A UN funded initiative to build on the knowledge of climate change.
Like Canada, Australia, and many other places, the South Pacific was subject to colonialism and all that entails. However, instead of the indigenous people coming out a minority in their own nations they still represent the majority (with exceptions like Fiji, whose former indentured labourers are now the majority). Many of these countries established independence in the latter half of the 20th century, and so they have had time to adjust and look towards a new education model. Here are a couple sites I found with information on their education reforms, which interestingly mirror those in Nunavut in many cases:
Rethinking Educational Reform: A Pacific Perspective – This will be a major piece of reading for me to do, with lots of insight into whether they are looking at truly creating a model which reflects their indigenous practices.
Kiribati Education Sector Strategic Plan – This has some great pieces of government legislation points to climate change adaptation as a major part of their education.
This link seems to shed some insight into how to create an infrastructure for education on these islands which are highly dependent on external supplies.
A Quick profile of the opportunities for virtual classrooms in Kiribati (spoiler: not great)
This set of postings is all about how we can harness indigenous knowledge and learning to better understand an element which we are still struggling to fully realize the impacts of: climate change.
Weathering Uncertainty – this article has a lot that describes how different communities can participate in the discussion on climate change. It is easy to navigate and will provide a nice piece of info to work with.
An Indigenous Knowledge forum on Climate change – This article provides reference to a website, climatefrontlines.org which is meant to get an insider perspective on what is going on in climate change to local people across the world.
The readings in Week 8 hit a particular nerve for me, and seemed critical for the persistence of many indigenous cultures. Furthermore, globally we need to develop more place based education models that help us capture the inherent value of the culture and nature around us. Here are a couple links on that:
The Entire book is available at this link here...
UNESCO, 2009, Learning and Knowing in Indigenous Societies Today.
Edited by P. Bates, M. Chiba, S. Kube & D. Nakashima, UNESCO: Paris, 128 pp.
Planet B: Education – Interview with Director of UNESCO on indigenous education
If an island nation like Vanuatu or Kiribati are going to relocate parts of their population due to sea level rise, I would expect that there would be initiative to start to consolidate their culture and create digital tomes and communities that would serve to both preserve and expand the influence of their culture. Here is what I found:
Vanuatan Indigenous Watch – A website which is dedicated to the current affairs in the nation, and provides a window on how a future Vanuatan diaspora may communicate.
Vanuatu Cultural Centre – This site had much information about traditions, and is active in many projects. I also noticed that they are involved in a digitization of their archives.
UNESCO Project: Strengthening indigenous knowledge through schools in Vanuatu – This link to me seems like a good investigation point for how the indigenous knowledge is being transferred into
Now, is Vanuatu a nation that will need to move its population due to climate change? That remains contentious:
Climate Change Science – this shows the trends
IRD – Vanuatu Climate change – a bit more information about them
Sea level not rising in Vanuatu – the global warming policy forum
These articles helped to outline some of the indigenous knowledge that is being taken into consideration when we thinking about climate change. Vanuatu and Fiji are both island cultures affected by sea level rise, among many other problems. The first article describes some steps taken to mitigate these effects:
Valuing Indigenous Knowledge for climate change adaptation planning in Fiji and Vanuatu
The second article describes what I consider a far more detailed application of traditional knowledge in forwarding our scientific underpinnings of coral reef conservation.
A Fijian village adapts tradition to try to save an ailing coral reef